When your car has become totaled, you will likely want to receive as much from your insurance company as possible. Conversely, your insurance company will want to pay you as little as possible. You will need to enter the process of negotiation where you seek to persuade your provider. While providers usually try to offer a fair amount for your totaled car, they do not always understand how much your car is worth.

You Don't Have to Accept the Initial Offer

Your insurance provider will likely make an initial offer that is much lower than the highest they intend to accept. After you have gathered the information that is necessary to prove the value of your car, you will want to politely decline the initial offer and make a counter-offer. Typically, an adjuster will offer at least $500 more if you try to negotiate a higher payout even if you do not have a lot of evidence supporting your case.

Chances are, the adjuster will be limited in how much he or she can give you, so you may need to ask to speak with his or her supervisor. Supervisors are the individuals who give adjusters the permission to offer more than what was originally planned.

Gather a Lot of Information on the Accident

If your car was totaled by another motorist who engaged in a hit-and-run, your insurance provider will be more likely to believe your story and offer a greater amount of compensation if you have witnesses. While the nature of the damage left behind on your car may corroborate your version of the events, it never hurts to have witnesses. You will also need the name and contact information of the officer who inspected the accident.

Compare Your Car to the Used Car

The best way to determine that your car is worth more if it is totaled is to compare your car to similar used cars of the same age and a similar condition. If other cars are selling for much more, you can claim that your car was worth more. If you took very good care of your car, bring the records of your maintenance to the insurance company. For instance, if you religiously had the oil changed, this could lead to your car being worth more. If you had any special parts added, this could also increase the value of your car.

If you are concerned with how long it is taking for your claim to be processed, call the claims adjuster regularly. While this might sound annoying, it actually simply shows that you are on top of things.

If your car was not totaled, and you a simply seeking money for insurance repairs, you will still probably need to be ready to negotiate.